W.O. Mitchell was born in 1914 at Weybur, Saskatchewan. He received a BA from the Universities of Alberta in 1941 and a beaching certificate in 1942. After two years as a teacher, he became a full-time writer. It was in Edmonton that he met Merna Hirtle. They were married and had three children.
In 1948 he became a fiction editor at Macleans. While there, he also became the writer of the popular weekly radio series, "Jacke and the Kid". During the 1950's he also held numerous writer in residence positions at several universities.
It was during this period that he published his first and most famous novel, "Who Has Seen The Wind". It is a story about a boy who grows to understand the Concept of God and cycle of life. Using the wind as a symbol of spiritual force, Mitchell shows how Brian O'Connal moves from believing that God is a little man riding a vacuum cleaner to amore mature understanding of "Godhood".
For fifty years, W.O. Mitchell has been one of Canada's most popular and influential writer. He has received numerous honors including honorary doctorates from five Canadian Universities, an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and being named as Honorary Member of the Privy Council in 1992. He died in 1998 at Calgary, Alberta.